I have greatly enjoyed the fact that Notre Dame emphasizes and values undergraduate education so highly even as it strives to become a top-tier research university. I feel that my undergraduate teaching is truly valued here.
Graduate students are well-supported, which means that ND can compete successfully for strong students who also fit well with faculty research interests and priorities. The possibilities for extracurricular instructional enhancement (through performances at the DPAC, funding for trips from various institutes, etc.) are great.
I have also found the South Bend area to be very family-friendly. Notre Dame’s Early Childhood Development Center offers an outstanding, age-appropriate developmental curriculum and is located just off-campus. Sporting and musical organizations for children (including a very good Suzuki school) are also strong. While both the public and Catholic school systems are somewhat uneven, there are good options in each. My own children are at a terrific independent Montessori school which takes advantage of its location by sending the children to a nearby organic farm for weekly instruction in biology, botany, and general farm-based fun.
Susannah Monta is John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of English. She earned a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her book entitled Martyrdom and Literature in Early Modern England won the 2005 Book of the Year prize from the MLA-affiliated Conference on Christianity and Literature. She has published numerous articles on Shakespeare, Spenser, early modern women, saints and martyrs, and history plays, among other topics. She has also published on pedagogy; her co-edited book entitled Teaching Early Modern Prose is forthcoming from the Modern Language Association. She is currently working on two larger projects, on Catholic prayer and devotion in Protestant England and on reported miracles in early modern hagiography, history, historiography, biblical exegesis, saints’ plays, and history plays.